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Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed. 

Being prepared for a public health emergency or disaster gives you your best chance of survival. There are steps you can take to prepare for the unexpected.

  1. Prepare a basic emergency kit.
  2. Make a plan.
  3. Be informed.

ReadyNC.org is North Carolina's campaign to prepare for all types of emergencies. Their website has multiple resources and lists to help you prepare. (Español)

The ReadyNC mobile app (iPhone and Android) is an all-in-one free tool for emergency preparedness in North Carolina. The FEMA app is a similar resource.

Ready.gov has many resources to help you prepare, plan and stay informed. This page explains what an emergency communication plan is and why you should make one. It also provides tips and templates on how to make a plan.

Ready Kids features age-appropriate, step-by-step instructions on what kids and families can do to prepare.


A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs (agents) to cause illness or death in people, animals or plants. These agents are typically found in nature, but it is possible that they could be changed to increase their ability to cause disease, make them resistant to current medicines or to increase their ability to be spread into the environment. Biological agents can be spread through the air, through water or in food. 

Natural Disasters and Severe Weather

Natural disasters affect thousands of people every year. Know what your risks are and prepare to protect yourself and your family.

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Floods (Español) are one of the most common dangers in NC.

Hurricanes (Español) in NC usually occur between August and October.

Thunderstorms can produce strong winds, lightning or hail (Español) that can be deadly and damaging.

Tornadoes (Español) can occur with little or no warning. March through May is peak tornado season for NC.

Wildfire Smoke can affect your health. During an event check the air quality daily. Then learn how to protect your health from the ill effects of wildfire smoke.

Winter weather is unpredictable due to NC's proximity to the Appalachian Mountains, Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Stream.

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Pandemic Flu

A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. It is determined by how the disease spreads, not how many deaths it causes. Are there currently any flu outbreaks? What is being done to track them? Read more about pandemics and the current flu situation in the United States and abroad.

When a new influenza A virus emerges, a flu pandemic can occur. Because the virus is new, the human population has little to no immunity against it. With no immunity in the population, the virus spreads quickly from person-to-person worldwide.

Be aware that during such an outbreak, health care providers and hospitals may be overwhelmed. No vaccine would be available in the early stages, and effective antivirals may be in limited supply.

A pandemic flu could impact the general public with widespread travel restrictions and school or business closings.

Four flu pandemics have occurred since 1918, each with different characteristics.

For information about seasonal flu, visit HendersonCountyFlu.org.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)

What is Avian Influenza?

Check the current status of HPAI in NC


American Red Cross Shelters

CDC - Emergency Preparedness and Response

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

Henderson County Emergency Management

National Weather Service

North Carolina Public Health Preparedness & Response


SNS - CDC's Strategic National Stockpile


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Department of Public Health • 1200 Spartanburg Highway, Suite 100 • Hendersonville, NC 28792 • (828) 692-4223

Last updated February 16, 2018